Par. 7 – “In giving direction to fellow believers, elders provide encouragement and counsel based either on the Scriptures themselves or on Scriptural principles.” What is the difference between counsel based on the “Scriptures themselves” and “Scriptural principles”? All Scriptural principles are found in the Scriptures. Is there another source for Scriptural principles? Of course not. So why use the word, “themselves”? Because the principles being referred to come not only from the “Scriptures themselves”, but from non-Scriptural sources. Anyone who has served as an elder knows that principles and guidelines and even out-and-out rules come from the Governing Body through our publications, correspondence and traveling overseers. These are all supposedly based on laws and principles found in Scripture. However, in many instances they are based on the interpretation of men. To give but one quick example, in January of 1972 such a “Scriptural principle” was applied to the Lord’s people prohibiting a woman to divorce a husband who was a practicing homosexual, or who engaged in bestiality. (w72 1/1 p. 31)
Par. 8 – “Further, before being appointed, they demonstrated that they had a clear understanding of the Scriptures and that they were qualified to teach what is healthful.” I wish that this idyllic statement were true. Having sat in countless elders meetings, I can attest that in many instances the elders often do not use the Bible during elders meetings to arrive at decisions. In a good body, there will be one or two who are adept at using the Bible aright, and who will bring the Scriptures into the discussion to help the rest reason on a principle. However, the most frequent influence determining the direction taken on an issue is the force of personality of one or two members of the body. Often, the elders are not even aware of the principles in our own publications, such as the Shepherd the Flock of God book. Thus, it is not just Bible principles that are frequently overlooked, but the Organization’s own guidelines and rules. In my lifetime, I have served in many places in this country as well as outside of the United States, and I’ve worked shoulder-to-shoulder with some really fine spiritual men, but I can attest that the idea that all elders—or that even the majority of elders—have “a clear understanding of the Scriptures” is at best wishful thinking.
Par. 9, 10 – “Through his organization, Jehovah provides an abundance of spiritual food…” I really wish this were true. I wish I could go to the meetings and delve into the “deep things of God”. I wish that our 30-minute Congregation Bible Study was a true study of the Scriptures. The recent change to the Draw Close to Jehovah book is a vast improvement over our previous study of the organization, but still, we do not get deep into things. Instead, we rehash what has been taught countless times before. We use the excuse that these are reminders that we need to hear repeatedly. I used to buy that excuse, but no more. I’ve seen what can be accomplished and I wish all my brothers could experience the freedom I’ve enjoyed these past months on this forum. The exchange of encouragement and shared Bible research has helped me to learn more Scriptural truths than I’ve gotten from the past several decades of regular meeting attendance.
Jehovah provides an abundance of spiritual food, Yes. But its source is his inspired Word, not the publications of any organization or religion. Let’s give credit where credit is due.
Par. 11 – “Such individuals may reason: ‘They are imperfect humans just like us. Why should we listen to their counsel?’ Truth be told, we shouldn’t. We should listen to God’s counsel as expressed through the elders. If the counsel we get is not in accord with the Bible, then we shouldn’t listen to it. Whether the elder is a shining example of Christian spirituality or a man who is an utter reprobate should make no difference. Jehovah used wicked Caiaphas to speak an inspired warning not because he was worthy, but because of his appointed office as high priest. (John 11:49) So we can ignore the messenger but apply the message; assuming it comes from God.
Par. 12, 13 – These paragraphs, like the rest of the study, are full of fine principles. However, there is a disconnect in the application of these principles to the congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. True, David and many other “overseers” of Jehovah’s people had serious flaws. However, when those flaws were pointed out to them by those under their care, these men—who had the power of life and death—listened humbly. David was in a murderous rage but listened to the voice of a woman and so was saved from sin. He was not concerned that perhaps this made him look weak before his men. He did not view this as an attack on his authority; as a presumptuous or rebellious act on her part, or as a sign of disrespect. (1 Sam. 25:1-35) How often is that the case today? Could you approach any of your elders to give them counsel when you have seen them going astray? Would you do so completely without any fear of reprisal? If so, you have a wonderful body of elders and should cherish them.
Par. 14, 15 – “Obedience to those who today are taking the lead among us is vital.” The use of the word “vital” here, based on the context, fits with this definition from the Shorter Oxford Dictionary: “Essential to the existence of something; absolutely indispensable or necessary; extremely important, crucial.” Based on the last week’s article, as well as what is said here concerning Moses, obedience to the elders is or will be a matter of life and death.
If this is what Jehovah intended all along, one must wonder why he inspired Paul to write Hebrews 13:17—the only scripture that discusses obedience to those taking the lead—the way he did. There is a Greek word, peitharcheó, which means “obey” just as its English counterpart. You’ll find it at Acts 5:29. Then there is a related Greek word, peithó, which means “urge, be persuaded, have confidence”. That’s the word we incorrectly translate as “obey” in Hebrews 13:17. (For a fuller discussion, see To Obey or Not to Obey—That Is the Question.)
We have often used Moses as a counterpart to the Governing Body. Those who rebelled against Moses or who murmured against him are likened to those who question the absolute authority of the present-day Governing Body. There is indeed a Scriptural counterpart to Moses: Jesus Christ, the Greater Moses. He is the head of the congregation. Moses did give vital—read, life-saving—direction to the Israelites as the paragraph explains. However, the 10th plague referred to in the paragraph came after nine others. Nine reasons to know and believe that God was speaking through Moses. He was a great prophet. He never prophesied falsely. It is a presumptuous affront to all that he represents to compare the leadership of our Organization from 1919 onward to him. We have an unbroken string of failed and failing prophecies. We have none of the credentials of Moses. It is true, as the paragraph states, that Jehovah has always spoken to his people through the mouth of some man, some prophet. Never through the mouth of a committee of prophets however. Always an individual. And there is no Bible account of any prophet proclaiming himself to be a prophet before the fact. No true prophet has ever come forward and said, “I do not now speak under inspiration and Jehovah has never spoken to me, but sometime in the future, Jehovah will and you had better listen to me then, or you will die.”
Still, these words in The Watchtower may well inspire fear in the minds of many of the faithful. “If he doesn’t speak through the Governing Body then who will he speak through?”, some will reason. Let us not presume to know what Jehovah intends to do because we can’t see an alternative. However, if you need some form of reassurance, consider this historical incident from the early Christian congregation:
“But while we were remaining quite a number of days, a certain prophet named Ag′a·bus came down from Ju·de′a, 11 and he came to us and took up the girdle of Paul, bound his own feet and hands and said: “Thus says the holy spirit, ‘The man to whom this girdle belongs the Jews will bind in this manner in Jerusalem and deliver into the hands of people of the nations.’” (Acts 21:10, 11)
Agabus was no Governing Body member, but he was known as a prophet. Jesus did not use Paul to reveal this prophecy, even though Paul was a Bible writer and (according to our teaching) a member of the first century governing body. So why did Jesus use Agabus? Because that’s the way he does things, just as his Father did throughout Israelite times. If Agabus had proclaimed prophecies that failed to come true—as we have done repeatedly in our history—do you suppose Jesus would have used him? In that case, how could the brothers have known that this time wouldn’t be a repeat of his past failures? No, he was known to be a prophet for good reason—he was a true prophet. Hence, they believed him.
“But Jehovah doesn’t raise up prophets today like he did back then”, some will counter.
Who is to know what Jehovah will do. For centuries prior to the time of Christ, no prophet is recorded as being used. Jehovah has raised up prophets when it suits him to do so, and one thing is consistent: Whenever he raises up a prophet, he invests him or her with undeniable credentials.
Paragraph 15 says, “Very likely, you can think of numerous other occasions in Bible history when Jehovah provided life-saving instructions through human or angelic representatives. In all these cases, God saw fit to delegate authority. Messengers spoke in his name, and they told his people what they needed to do in order to survive a crisis. Can we not imagine that Jehovah might do something similar at Armageddon? Naturally, any elders today who are delegated the responsibility of representing Jehovah or his organization….”
How subtly we slip in our teaching, bypassing reason. Jehovah didn’t delegate authority. The prophet was a messenger, one who carried a message, not one in authority. Even when the angels were used as his mouthpiece, they gave instructions, but did not assume command. Otherwise, there would have been no test of faith.
Perhaps Jehovah will again use angelic representatives. It is the angels, not any organization of men, who are going to gather the wheat from the weeds. (Mat. 13:41) Or perhaps he will use men such as those taking the lead among us. However, following the perfect pattern of inspired words, he will first invest such men with unmistakable credentials of his divine backing. If he chooses to do that, then following the age-old pattern, the men will convey Jehovah’s word to us but will not have any special authority over us. They will urge and persuade us to act (peithó) but it will be up to each one of us to follow that urging; to have confidence in their persuasion; and so to make our own choice as an act of faith.
Frankly, this whole direction we’re taking worries me deeply. There have been many cult leaders who have risen up and mislead many, causing great harm, even death. It is easy to dismiss such concerns as unrealistic paranoia. We may feel we are above such things. After all, this is Jehovah’s organization. Yet, we have the prophetic word of our Lord Jesus to dwell on.
“Then if anyone says to YOU, ‘Look! Here is the Christ,’ or, ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will give great signs and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones.” (Matthew 24:23, 24)
If and when there is some impractical, non-strategic direction from God coming through the Governing Body, let us remember the above words and apply John’s counsel:
“Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God, because many false prophets have gone forth into the world.” (1 John 4:1)
Whatever we are told to do must conform to God’s word in every way. Jesus, the Great Shepherd, will not leave his flock wandering blindly. If the “inspired direction” goes against what we already know to be true, then we must not doubt nor let fear cloud our judgment. In such a case, we must remember that it is ‘with presumptuousness that the prophet speaks. We must not get frightened at him.’ (Deuteronomy 18:22)
Nic w życiu nie przychodzi nam łatwo. Nie wystarczy w coś wierzyć; trzeba mieć siłę pokonywać przeszkody i walczyć by wygrać. G. Meir
Nothing in life comes easy for us . It is not enough to believe in something ; you need to have the strength to overcome obstacles and fight to win. G. Meir
Some time ago I asked some brothers why did they change the 2nd baptism question to Gods directed Organization, and. Showed them all the second questions of the past, they all looked at me like I just thrown cold water in there face, also I noticed through the years. They don’t quote Jesus famous words on the subject during the baptism talk at the Assemblies, Must be New Light…Right
It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly
donate to this superb blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your
RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will share this website
with my Facebook group. Talk soon!
Thank you for expressing that willingness. Funds would help us to spread the word farther and more effectively, but they would also compromise anonymity which for the present is important.
There has to be a way that we can donate anonymously … I was browsing around the net and found this site https://www.justgive.org/about-us/privacy.jsp They claim to accept anonymous donations online without your info. or what about an old fashioned PO box that we could send money orders to 🙂
Otherwise I’m fresh outta ideas lol
Thank you for that GWIT. It appears that site protects the donor’s privacy. We want to do that as well, but our concern is from the other end. Even with a P.O. box, a check has to be cashed. The donor then knows who the money went to. This would not be a problem were anonymity not an issue, but given the draconian methods used by the Organization, it very much is. We have been funding this privately. Most of the cost is in lost time from work. We have to make tents too, just like Paul did. 🙂 In… Read more »
As to ‘no falsehood being found’ in the mouths of the holy ones, we know that the anointing means complete, ‘once for all,’ enlightenment by the Holy Spirit of all core truths affecting salvation. So while a person before their anointing might ignorantly and innocently believe in the 1914 invisible presence doctrine, the anointing will at once show up this core teaching to be a lie, and it is then up to the individual to either live up to the truth, or deny it for selfish reasons or out of fear of man, or because of esteeming the glory of… Read more »
The ‘re-creation’ and ‘restoration of all things written by the prophets,’ happens only AFTER the coming of Christ on the clouds of Heaven, because the 12 apostles, as being among those sleeping in Christ now, will have to wait for us, who will survive to the future coming and subsequent presence of Christ, in order to be caught away TOGETHER with us, before they are able to sit down on their thrones with us, judging the ‘twelve tribes of Israel.’ At that time too, all the nations will be streaming to the mountain of Jehovah, and be made to speak… Read more »
At baptism we publicize our acceptance of Christ’s blood, which God dedicated to our reconciliation for salvation of our souls, and to the declaring of Him righteous by means of our faith in its redeeming value. We are the objects of God’s grace, who works in us by means of Christ – dwelling in our hearts – that which is well pleasing in His sight. Having been dedicated to the appropriation of His indescribable free gift through Christ’s doing of God’s will, we are dedicated to the Father by means of it. And that is what ‘our’ dedication to God… Read more »
You did not make me feel bad at all Katrina ! Believe me IMO lies/being misled is more hurtful than hard cold truth/reality. A sister told me about this site a few months back when I opened up to her about the battle of my thoughts on what the bible teaches vs. what’s being taught via the platform, publications etc. When I finally mustered up the courage to look at this site , one of the first posts I came across was very similar to yours. So the wound is not as fresh 🙂 I will say what gave me… Read more »
God’s word is truth I hope I didn’t make you feel bad by posting what I did or anyone else baptized after the changes, as I went to my sisters baptism whom I help come into the faith, I myself never picked up on this either, and no doubt I myself if I had not been baptized before would have done the same. As when we do go through with out baptism our hearts are with Jehovah and his Son, repentance and forgiveness of sins, it is only after we realize that all is not right, that the veil so… Read more »
Not at all, Katrina. This subject has come up before and I agree with the view that the way we handle baptism in the Organization is not in keeping with what is laid down in Scripture.
Also, there does not appear to be the “baptism in symbol of dedication” link that we have taught to all our disciples.
I’m wary also of the never-stated-in-scripture idea of baptism in symbol of dedication. But it brings up the legitimate question of what baptism means. It must mean something besides “I declare myself Christian and waterproof”. If baptism indicates that we have put faith in God, his Son and the power of the Holy Spirit, and that we now put the kingdom first and live no longer for ourselves, doesn’t that mean we are demonstrating a dedication? I’m throwing this out there because I’d like to hear what others are thinking on the subject. (Meleti, if you feel that the meaning… Read more »
No, let’s go for it. I’d like to hear what others have to say as well.
Our relationship with Jehovah is based on undeserved kindness through the ransom of His Son. We can do nothing to earn salvation apart from faith in that arrangement and the works that result from exercising that faith. We should want to please Him because we love Him for what He has done for US. The organization promotes dedication as if it were some form of paying off our debt by monthly installments. As if somehow we gain credit with God. In a sense, the WTS use of dedication is a form of bringing us under law…..theirs Subtle but extremely damaging.… Read more »
I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, Chris.
Changing baptismal vows the GB of the JW organization, as far as I can see is a huge rebellion involving millions of JW that have been baptised in the name of an organization. Matt 28:18-20 All authority has been given to Christ, in heaven and also the earth. His commandments on baptism have been broken, by a group of men who took it upon themselves to usurp Christ authority. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the holy spirit. to in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the spirit directed… Read more »
Katrina , That’s a very true and disheartening statement . I was very young when I got baptized it seemed like the next step .. ..I joined the school at 6 , unbaptized publisher at 8, got baptized at 11 and started regular pioneering at 11. My mother was very uneasy about me getting baptized so young but the brothers kept admonishing her not to hold me back . My father did not want to stand in the way either after I begged them to let me do it because I loved Jehovah etc. Maybe my parents knew more than… Read more »
I agree Katrina !!! The baptismal questions changed in 1985. ———————————————————— Here are the questions when I got baptized: (W60 5/15 par. 23-24) – What Prevents Me from Getting Baptized?) 23 The first question is: Have you recognized yourself before Jehovah God as a sinner who needs salvation, and have you acknowledged to him that this salvation proceeds from him, the Father, through his Son Jesus Christ? 24 The second question is: On the basis of this faith in God and in his provision for salvation have you dedicated yourself unreservedly to God to do his will henceforth as he… Read more »
can anybody show me in scriptures that to get baptised on needs to be dedicated?
the word dedication only is mentioned 5 times in the bible and never in connection with baptism
another false construct, by a false Christian denomination.
“That which corresponds to this is also now saving you, namely, baptism, (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the request made to God for a good conscience,) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 3:21) This is the only scripture that defines baptism in its simplest terms. The following are the only scriptures that tell what the Jews actually dedicated and who or what they dedicated to: “They themselves went in to Ba′al of Pe′or, and they proceeded to dedicate themselves to the shameful thing, and they came to be disgusting like [the thing… Read more »
“Elijah” would need more than holy spirit . Elijah also had the ability to performed powerful works. According to the Insight book eight miracles are credited to Elijah in the Bible account. They are: (1) shutting off rain from heaven, (2) keeping the flour and oil supply of the widow of Zarephath renewed, (3) resurrecting the widow’s son, (4) having fire fall from heaven in answer to prayer, (5) having rain break the drought in answer to prayer, (6) calling down fire on King Ahaziah’s captain and his 50 men, (7) calling down fire on a second captain and his… Read more »
I don’t think the great apostasy has occurred. There are many lines to my line of reasoning, but time does not permit to go into all of them right now. A Great Apostasy/rebellion nearly happened with the Gnostics who nearly succeeded in hijacking Christianity with teachings of the demiurge, Sophia etc. That was a real and present danger. Had they succeeded we would not be talking of Jehovah as the benevolent Creator but as an evil impostor. Rather, there has been lots of error and wicked men.Jesus predicted as much with the parable of the wheat and weeds. But a… Read more »
That’s a very interesting point. You may be right. I definitely have to research it more whenever I get the time.
Hello GWIT, Miracles are not essential in God’s scheme of things. The Israelites were a very stubborn and rebellious people who came to believe that the only way that a person could prove he was a prophet was to do miracles. (Mark 8:12; Luke 11:16; John 2:18) But seeing the many miracles that Jehovah’s prophets performed over the years did not save these people from Jehovah’s destructive anger. Consider how many miracles Jesus performed but did the nation of Israel follow him on the basis of all of the miracles that they saw? Yes, Elijah did perform miracles before the… Read more »
Correct, yet the miracles demonstrated that the prophet had God’s spirit. Nevertheless, Satan is also capable of performing ‘great signs and wonders’ so as to mislead even the chosen ones. (Mt. 24:24) So the true test of a prophet is the prophecy himself, not his evangelizing prowess.
(Deuteronomy 18:22) when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it. You must not get frightened at him.’
The leadership of our Organization have failed this test repeatedly.
Incidentally, there is on proof that Noah engaged in a preaching work.
I do agree with you to a point… I have no doubt that Moses and Elijah plays significant roles in the outworking God’s purpose whether it is symbolically or figuratively .I believe Jesus was trying to tell his apostles that by means of the Transfiguration. However there is no comparison IMO between Noah and Elijah. If Jesus meant Noah or someone that was “Noahlike” he would have said it. I have to say though ..I don’t really understand that Scripture or even have an idea what it means..so I welcome direction from anyone on it.
Hi all, Question: Who Will Prove To Be The Very “LAST PROPHET” That God Sends??? (Acts 3:19-23) The term last prophet is used in religious contexts to refer to the last person through whom God speaks, after which there is to be no other. The appellation also refers to that prophet which will induce mankind to turn back to God. Islam Main article: Khatam an-Nabuwwah The phrase “last prophet” is used primarily in Islam, where it refers to Muhammad, whom Muslims hold to be the final prophet in the monotheistic Abrahamic tradition. Other religions Other religious traditions have used this… Read more »
Hope you don’t mind me scanning this since my finger was getting tired on the wheel.
Here, here imjustasking. So much for the ‘spiritual paradise’ in the organisation. There are at least 8 more filed child abuse cases against the WT in the US awaiting trial dates and 3 more to come soon- all with the same legal firm. Bring it on!
On the elders’ fiduciary duty to protect the ‘rank and file’, please see what a brother defending the Watchtower has to say:
I do not agree with this brother . I’m not sure what “apostates” (or individuals who disagree with the slave) has to do with this matter. This is what happens when you mix religion and business. I could be wrong but the act of seperating the Governing Body (the spiritual leaders) from the Watchtower corporate presidency and its Board of Directors is smoke and mirrors. This is an example of how business and religion can be a conflict of interest. If this happened to my child I would have gone to the elders first for direction on how to contact… Read more »
Meleti thank you for your wise counsel. Indeed Jesus has been appointed as judge and not me. Regarding the link to thirdwitness, these are my observations: 1. Jesus and Jehovah knows that ‘wicked’ men can hide behind the law. What may pass as a legal defense on TECHNICAL grounds based on MAN’S law, has no traction with GOD’S MORAL laws. Psa 94:20 You don’t help crooked judges. They use the law to make life hard for the people.(ERV) Psa 94:20 Will the throne causing adversities be allied with you While it is framing trouble by decree? (NWT) Pro 12:22 The… Read more »
The big question is, to what extent does Jesus approve of and bless the organization? Probably no one here believes they are God’s spokesman, but surely there are things that have been done right. The brotherhood is real and it’s beautiful. The conduct of our brothers during the Holocaust is a monument to Christian moral fortitude. I have many friends active in the organization and they are wonderful people. So I’m not prepared to write it off entirely just yet. Is the GB guilty of willful deceit? I doubt it. Let’s face it, the more heavily invested you are in… Read more »
anderestimme, on some level I agree with your sentiments on another level I disagree. I agree that to pass judgement on teachings is not right. I GET that ALL denominations have something wrong. Some churches believe in hellfire, we believe in 1914. So my condemnation is not for such error. BUT, when justice is perverted behind a Godly veneer and Gods HOLY name, that is all together something more egregious. Case in point: CASE ONE – CONTI CANDICE The recent Conti Candice child molestation trial, in which the Society has launched its appeal against the guilty judgement on these grounds:… Read more »
(Psalm 4:4) BE agitated, but do not sin. Have YOUR say in YOUR heart, upon YOUR bed, and keep silent. (Acts 3:14, 15, 17) Yes, YOU disowned that holy and righteous one, and YOU asked for a man, a murderer, to be freely granted to YOU, 15 whereas YOU killed the Chief Agent of life…And now, brothers, I know that YOU acted in ignorance, just as YOUR rulers also did. How can we balance these two scriptures? Peter certainly wasn’t keeping silent when he accused the crowd of disowning the Christ. Yet he stopped short of condemning the men by impugning… Read more »
These tactics of legally maneuvering are disgusting. I feel no sympathy for them because they put themselves in this position so they are reaping what they have sown. If they did not insist on having an “organization” or company with all these rules and guidelines and allowed God’s people congregations to be independent and govern themselves separately ( like the first century Christians) they would not have this problem. That’s why the “Jehovah’s Witnesses are being sued” ….that’s how people will perceive this. They are no different from the Catholics “organization” in this regard as far as the “world” are… Read more »
Just adding to the regular emailer’s comments about knowingly teaching doctrinal error. Another example can be attributed to Fred Franz. In the book ‘Man’s salvation out of world distress at Hand!’ released in 1975, on page 98 paragraph 19, it uses the expression “governing body of Jehovah’s visible organization” in relation to the imprisonment of the WT directors in 1918-19. This book was likely written by Franz, yet later in that same year, he gave a talk at a Gilead graduation. The content of that talk showed that Franz obviously knew that no such entity as a governing body existed… Read more »
Hi Meleti, No offense intended. 🙂 But you said in this comment at this link: http://meletivivlon.com/2014/01/20/obey-jehovahs-shepherds-w13-1015-p-21/#comment-7881 “It is not at all wrong to criticize and even to denounce a wrong action. In fact, it is our obligation to do so. Qui tacet consentire vidétur, “silence gives consent”. However, it is wrong to judge the person making the wrong action, since judgment belongs to God. So judge the action, not the person. Say, “You behaved badly.” but not, “You are bad.” …” And in this comment at this link you said: http://meletivivlon.com/2014/01/20/obey-jehovahs-shepherds-w13-1015-p-21/#comment-7880 “…A time of trial and testing came upon the true and… Read more »
No offense taken. To answer your question, we cannot do so because two wrongs don’t make a right. If we as Jehovah’s Witnesses have been denouncing and judging people then we have been doing wrong. It is one thing to condemn the actions of other religions, using the standard laid down in Scripture. But condemning individuals is another thing entirely. It is Jehovah through Jesus who passes judgment on men. We can, and should, denounce wicked acts, even if they come from within our own Organization. However, we should not denounce men. Whether their heart is wicked or not is… Read more »
Just so I’m clear on this,
so then, should we use the term “Man of Lawlessness” publicly, in reference to the clergy of christendom? (2 Thess. 2:3-12)
Forgive me…. Maybe my view needs to be adjusted. (sorry for spelling errors ) But this is their organization. Let’s be honest… their attitude is if we don’t like the rules we can leave. I know it’s disheartening to see so many honest hearted ones misled, in denial or scared to come forth.However, I don’t believe that adopting an “let’s change the organization from the inside ” , “let’s bring the the GB ” or allowing ourselves to become bitter will serve us or our brothers and sisters in the long run. It’s a distraction and Satan wants us to… Read more »
What if I told you, that I believe every single word you have just spoken, wholeheartedly! 🙂 And with the secret UN/NGO situation now being revealed, and the spiritual “fornication” and hidden “adultery” of the organization now being brought to light before everyone, the world is now surely in a “cesspool” state, completely. (James 4:4) Now, I’d only like to add to what you have just said, with one more important point, one fact (cause just like you said, in the end, ‘its the governing body’s way…or the hi-way,’ and that’s all there is to it, till Jehovah gets involved,… Read more »
Observer17 I agree that’s definitely worthy of prayerful meditation. I’ve never thought about that. As I usually say… That’s on my list of things to study. One thing is for sure… If Jehovah wants us to” get out of her” we are doing just that. I stopped preaching or teaching the 1914 doctrine years ago .I made a decision recently to stop teaching 2 tiered salvation. This site has definitely helped me stop being in about that teaching and face the reality… It’s a falsehood. Jesus said Christians are going to heaven. We know that there will also be ones… Read more »
That should read “stop being in denial about that teaching”
I don’t know how many other ways I can say this without repeating myself. Judge the action, not the man. Leave the judgment of men to God.
Does the clergy of the Catholic church act like the man of lawlessness? Does the ecclesiastical hierarchy of Jehovah’s Witnesses act like the man of lawlessness? Is the Pope a man of lawlessness? Are the individual members of the Governing Body men of lawlessness? How would you answer each of those questions?
Yes people dont seem to undertand that he that practices his judgement without mercy will get his judgement without mercy Let others go down that road if theywant
Questions to ponder: Should the Governing Body & The Watchtower Society openly admit that the teaching of 1914 is not correct? Should they admit that they were wrong on this matter in the past, in what they taught? Or, should they just continue to perpetuate this harmful teaching upon the masses, upon millions, and continue to “disfellowship” [destroy family relationships] anyone or anybody who disagrees with it, and does not believe it anymore? Of course, the answer to these questions seems quite obvious to us, does it not? Revelation 21:8 tells us that all “liars” are going to the “lake… Read more »
I told a friend that the GB is attempting to divorce themselves subtly from 1914. She says questioning the GB makes her uncomfortable and asked that I no longer talk to her until I figure out my issues. Then she unfollowed me on social media citing a WT article next month where we are further instructed to not talk to “false apostles” aka people who question the GB. Thankfully I’ve been able to question the GB to my immediate family and friends with no problem so far. I’m holding out hope that one day I can break free and keep… Read more »
Your friend may have good reason for not questioning the GB.
She may remember reading these statements:
“If we have love for Jehovah and for the organization of his people we shall not be suspicious, but shall, as the Bible says, ‘BELIEVE ALL THINGS,’ ALL THE THINGS THAT THE WATCHTOWER BRINGS OUT” — See “Qualified to be Ministers” (1955) page 156
Or this one,
“The point is that Christians have implicit trust in their heavenly Father; they DO NOT QUESTION what he tells them through his written Word AND ORGANIZATION.” — See Watchtower 1974 July 15th page 441
May I ask what you are referring to when you say “memorial attendance is down 3 straight years in a row from its all time peak?” I have checked the yearbooks from 2010 to 2013 and only observe a slight decrease in 2013 over the previous year. When was the peak you refer?
I meant US attendance. I think 2011 was the all time high. I could be wrong though. I’m young. I’m used to having memorial attendance increase every year I can remember.
Hello again Sargon
I just checked the yearbooks again and found that the 2012 records the highest attendance but the 2013 shows a whopping decrease of 361,394 for the world and 61,463 for the US. I would not have checked if you had not noticed this. Interesting.
>>”When we refuse to admit we have made a mistake, we outrage the judgment of others; and they will conclude that we are either too proud, or dishonest, or too stupid to recognize that we made a mistake—all of which may well cause a barrier to come between us and those around us….”
One of our regular readers e-mailed me yesterday, and I felt that the information was worth sharing with the forum readership. FROM E-MAIL (published with writer’s permission): I have a problem with the use of “judgmental” when at times a comment is made that is critical of the organization or its doctrines. If a person sees someone endangering the life of another, is it being judgmental to criticize that action? After all to paraphrase what Cain replied to God, we are our brother’s keeper. We have a whole judicial system that is set up to judge and punish those who… Read more »
I’mjustasking …I might get a scriptural thrashing for what I’m about to say 🙂 but could we reason that those ones under the Abrahamic covenant (Jews and Gentiles alike ) will also “inherit the earth?” Thus fulfilling that covenant and of all the blessings promised to them .(All of which was made possible bcause of the promised Messiah.)
GodsWordisTruth that is a tough one. I’m not sure.
I have discussed the topic of the ‘ancients’ and I’m undecided. However I do not find your proposition unreasonable – so no thrashing from me 🙂
I say that because at Matt 19:28 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. So whether they are appointed as Judges , Co- rulers as Kings or priests in Jesus’ kingdom how are they going to actually judge the 12 tribes of Israel if those under that covenant are in heaven too? At the time Jesus said this, I’m sure the Apostles believed that this… Read more »
I’m not sure if this is pertinent, but the account of the 144,000 has them being taken out of the twelve tribes, indicating that a part of the whole is being extracted. Whatever the 144,000 turns out to be and whatever the twelve tribes of Israel actually represents, it does seem safe to say that a part of a whole is extracted.
Hmmm…I didn’t think about that…
When I studied with 7th Day Adventists years ago (which finally came to an end because both sides were counting service time) their belief was the same as ours, that Abraham and Isaac pictured a divine drama, that of the Father sacrificing His Son so that by means of the Son all humanity would be saved. When the study finally ended we parted, agreeing to disagree, our respective theologies bolstered by the victory of not losing an argument, which is just the way it goes when one is defending their faith as though it were the only truth. As for… Read more »
I need to examine revelation again w/o the “grand climax book. (maybe its a good thing I lost it so I can’t use it as a crutch ) I want to state categorically that I believe that ultimately God will choose who goes where and what roles they will serve …..with that being said I’ll tell you what I have believed……. In a nutshell I have always believe that the 144,000 (figurative or symbolic) is the original congregation/ church ( Jews and Gentiles) before the death of the apostles and the great apostasy set in . They are the only… Read more »
Hi GodsWordIsTruth, I agree that my current understanding lends me to arrive at the same conclusion as you, regarding the identity of the GC seen in heaven. The Society teaches that this is the same group described in Mth 25 – but there is a distinction between them. The GC seen in heaven have clearly demonstrated their faith in Jesus, because they have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and know him. On the other hand, the sheep in Mth 25 are surprised that they are favoured by the Lamb, a fact revealed by the question –… Read more »
I can’t pretend to know the mind of Rutherford or where he received his “new light from” We know that before 1935 JW’s ( a small group starting out ) taught that all Christians were going to heaven like all the other Christian denominations (including Rutherford) Russell believe that 144,000 was the number of the anointed and it appears that the message of their preaching work was something like ” the end is near there are only 144,000 spots” Maybe with increase of membership over 144,000 at some point they had a numbers problem. I’m not sure why Rutherford deviated… Read more »
You raise some very interesting points, GodsWordIsTruth. I too want to take a fresh, non-1914 look at John’s Revelation. I have been wondering about the great tribulation. Jesus definitely referred to the destruction of Jerusalem as the greatest tribulation of all time. But in what sense did he mean that? Tribulation is used almost exclusively (and I”m not sure about the “almost”) in the Christian Scriptures in reference to the congregation; to both good and bad elements within it. We think of it as destruction, but that is not the meaning of the word. It means stress, trial and test.… Read more »
Question: When the 144,000 sing the new song, are they teaching the 1914 doctrine? – Revelation 14:3 In years past, the Watchtower Society in many of their publications have given us an explanation of what they believed the “New Song” to be and who and when it is to be sung. Notice the following quotes below: In the 1966 Watchtower magazine, page 184, under the subheading, THE GRAND THEME OF THE SONG, we learn this: “And they are singing as if a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the older persons.” SO THE SONG… Read more »
Can someone here address my post posted under “Discussions”? I am new to this site and not sure where to ask any questions. THANK you in advance.
Armageddon was going to be ONLY weeks or months from the autumn of 1975 !! ————————————————————————————————- “Are we to assume from this study that the battle of Armageddon will be all over by the autumn of 1975, and the long-looked-for thousand-year reign of Christ will begin by then? Possibly, but we wait to see how closely the seventh thousand-year period of man’s existence coincides with the sabbathlike thousand-year reign of Christ. … And yet the end of that sixth creative “day” could end within the same Gregorian calendar year of Adam’s creation. It may involve only a difference of weeks… Read more »
(w68 5/1 pp. 272-273 par. 8 Making Wise Use of the Remaining Time) “Does this mean that the year 1975 will bring the battle of Armageddon? No one can say with certainty what any particular year will bring. Jesus said: “Concerning that day or the hour nobody knows.” (Mark 13:32) Sufficient is it for God’s servants to know for a certainty that, for this system under Satan, time is running out rapidly. How foolish a person would be not to be awake and alert to the limited time remaining, to the earthshaking events soon to take place, and to the… Read more »
Have you seen the March 2014 Kingdom Ministry? —————————————————————— Will You Seize the Opportunity? Upcoming Memorial Enables Us to Show Gratitude 4 Will this Memorial be our last? (1 Cor. 11:26) We do not know. But we do know that once it passes, gone will be a unique opportunity to show gratitude. Will you seize it? May the appreciative words of our mouth and the meditation of our heart bring pleasure to Jehovah, the generous Provider of the ransom. —Ps. 19:14. – (Our Kingdom Ministry, March 2014, Week Starting March 17) —————————————————————– The writers are rightly careful about making any… Read more »
I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that this memorial/pass-over coincides with a blood moon?
I have often wondered myself what is meant (what we will actually see) when it is said…
“The sun itself will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and fear-inspiring day of Jehovah.”
“deliberate” meaning that we have ascribe motive in addition to the falsehood ? Well I agree that nobody can read hearts. Along those lines I guess that the person perpetuating the falsehood in addition has to know that what they are perpetuating is not the truth to fit this scripture…..
Yes, because the Greek word here – dolos – means craft, deceit, guile.
There are lots of N.T. examples, but to take just one:
(John 1:47) Jesus saw Na·than′a·el coming toward him and said about him: “See, an Israelite for a certainty, in whom there is no deceit (dolos).”
It seems clear that Jesus was not suggesting that everything Nathanael said or thought was free from error. It has to involve a deliberate intention to mislead.
Hi Meleti, Apollos and anyone who wishes to comment: I have been thinking about this question that has come to my mind, for some time. I noticed here, many do not believe the teaching of 1914 is really truth from Jehovah, and do not believe it is a scriptural teaching but is falsehood. My question stems from this verse: Revelation 14:5 says of the 144,000, “and no falsehood was found in their mouths; they are without blemish.” (New World Translation) So, if Jehovah’s Witnesses have taught a false doctrine world wide for many, many years like the teaching of 1914,… Read more »
I agree with you wholeheartedly X-factor…For what it’s worth..I’ve yet to find a scripture in Revelation or in the bible that states the 144,000 are sealed to be kings, priests, or the bride of Christ.Rev 1:6 and Reve 20:6 speaks to kings and priests ruling…. But John didn’t say that the 144,000 was set aside for that purpose. John talks about the 1440,00 in Reve chap 7 and 14 but never states that they will be ruling anything. He said at Rev 5:9-10-Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood [men] from every tribe and tongue and… Read more »
The falsehood described in Rev 14:5 appears to be deliberate falsehood, rather than doctrinal error. If Christians were judged on every aspect of doctrinal error or lack of understanding of prophecy then who would stand? Lots of Christian groups out there are giving other meanings to these and other prophecies. Would Jesus adversely judge every one that got it wrong, even if they were somewhat dogmatic? Personally, I don’t think we can say that doctrinal error = the falsehood described in Rev 14:5. If we take it that far then some Christians somewhere must have perfect doctrine. But I don’t… Read more »
I agree with Apollos on this. It is easy for us to allow the hurt and betrayal we may feel over decades of deception to build in us a strong resentment. However, “vengence is mine, sayeth the Lord”. It is Jesus whom Jehovah has charged as judge and executioner. We should leave the judging of motivation to him, because treading on his turf would do us harm. This doesn’t mean we can’t expose falsehood. In fact, we have a duty to do so.
Yes so do i agree with apollos its not talking about doctrinal error Spoken in ignorance it has to be talking of people who are deliberatly speaking lies in order to mislead others for perhaps some personal gain which of course is a trait of a true apostate and if they are doing that then in the words of michael the archangel may the lord rebuke them kev c
Meleti …could you delete my duplicate post? My phone is wacky today! 🙁
My thought at first glance… It would be neither a prediction or prophecy… Just a spot on observation. I was too blind to see it….but someone who can be objective could see it. Off topic, I’ve heard Non JW’s many times throughout the years and well before 2012 accuse JW’s of following “the men in New York” or the “Watchtower leaders” in New York.Growing up I had a bad habit of saying the Society says this or the Society discourages that. One day my Non JW cousin forcefully asked me, Who is this Society you keep talking about??? Is it… Read more »
I know what you are saying, God’s Word Is Truth. But the book [twenty years ago] made the prediction, is the Governing Body becoming the “Man of Lawlessness” right before our very eyes? Is this happening, in the kingdom hall? The prediction was: Is this prophecy coming true, in our day? Are we observing the FULFILLMENT, of this particular bible prophecy? And we all know, the “Man of Lawlessness” is a major bible prophecy, correct? (2 Thess. 2:3-12) Let’s consider this again. Remember, twenty or more years ago the elders were appointed by the Governing Body who ONLY represented the… Read more »
I defintely share your sentiments this level of adoration is unprecendented in my view. Slightly off topic….I was raised in the “truth” however 20 years ago I was 12 🙂 I was pioneering by then but I didn’t have a grasp of the inner workings of the organization. I have always been commended for the crazy amounts of time I devote to personal study … Sadly since then I’ve really have always been trying to fit the Wt doctrine Into the Bible and battling feelings of inadequacy because I cannot …. I’ve been distracted from the goings on in the… Read more »
20 years ago I was not even 10 years old.
Hello to everyone! Question: What if someone wrote the following paragraph below in a book and put it on numerous bookshelves in many book stores all over, back some twenty  years ago. Would you call this a prediction or prophecy? Here is the quote in question, from the book: “…And so, the Watchtower magazine under the present-day Governing Body arrangement, is placed on the same level, given parity and equal status, with God’s Word. Jehovah’s Witnesses are subtly encouraged to view it as such. With the Governing Body controlling the contents of the Watchtower magazine, one needs no imagination… Read more »
Slightly off topic but Feb15, 2014 Questions from Readers: —What reasons did Jews in the first century have for being “in expectation” of the Messiah? “If the apostles and other early Christians had correctly understood the prophecy about the 70 weeks, we would expect them to have mentioned the prophecy as proof that Jesus Christ was the Messiah and that he had arrived on time. But there is no evidence that the early Christians did so. “Another point is worth noting. Gospel writers often mentioned prophecies from the Hebrew Scriptures that were fulﬁlled by Jesus Christ. (Matthew 1:22, 23; 2:13-15;… Read more »
I find a number of flaws in their logic. First: The fact that the fulfillment of the seventy weeks is not mentioned does not mean they didn’t understand it to have been fulfilled. There is no mention in John’s gospel, letters, or Revelation of the destruction of Jerusalem though he wrote them almost 30 years after the fact. Are we to conclude that the first century Christians didn’t understand that to have been a fulfillment of Jesus prophetic word at Matthew 24:15-22 and Luke 9:41-44? Are we to conclude that Jesus didn’t understand the 70-weeks prophecy, or that in the… Read more »
What about the UN being the beast of Rev 17? If they really got that right at exactly the time when it ‘was not, yet was about to ascend out of the abyss’, then at least they’d have something in their favor. I’m thinking on screen here, so feel free to crucify me if there’s some really obvious flaw.
There is something very interesting on that subject that came to my attention recently thanks to one of our contributors. I won’t post it here because I don’t have permission, but here’s the link for the full article: http://kristenfrihet.se/english/un.htm Here are the relevant excerpts: “How, then, about President Knorr’s prediction in 1942 – right in the middle of World War II – that the peace organization which had disappeared from the scene at the outbreak of the war in 1939 would “ascend out of the abyss,” (Rev. 17:8) again after the end of the war?” 12 At first glance, this… Read more »
I think the general point Jonsson makes is valid, but his axe-grinding tone and tendency to be cavalier with his facts makes me a bit wary of him. An example of the latter is this: “In fact, the United Nations had already been formed, several months before Knorr’s prediction, on January 1, 1942 at Washington D.C., with twenty-six nations signing a joint declaration on that date.” It may very well be that this event was the seed that eventually germinated in the formation of the UN, and that Knorr correctly judged that it would. But to say that the UN… Read more »
A valid point.
Some interesting background material came my way regarding Knorr’s so-called landmark prediction and the timing of the formation of the United Nations during the war. You can read the full text of the talk here. It turns out his ideas were not original, and the talk itself is quite a lambast of the Vatican. Wikipedia offers some good information showing that “The Declaration by United Nations was a World War II document agreed on 1 January 1942 during the Arcadia Conference by 26 governments: the Allied “Big Four” (the US, the UK, the USSR, and China), nine American allies in… Read more »
” how is it that we were now able to predict the 7 times (2,520 years from 607 BCE) of Daniel’s prophecy to Christ’s second arrival ahead of time? ” This comment grew in length, so I truly hope it adds something to the discussion. It is really when I read around on this particular subject, that I started to realise how easily I had been led on, how my faith had been unintentionally misplaced and how incomplete my scriptural education really was. First, isn’t it just a bit misleading that the publications continue to state bible students “rediscovered the… Read more »
Ah my fine brother Joel, how your brain ticks on. Had I explained everything swirling in my brain I would have exhausted the space/time continuum of this fine website! And had we lived during the time Zechariah wrote almost two decades past Daniel’s little talk to Cyrus when “the angel of Jehovah answered and said: ‘O Jehovah of armies, how long will you yourself not show mercy to Jerusalem and to the cities of Judah, whom you have denounced these seventy years?’” (Zechariah 1:12) Oh yes, the 70 yrs of Jerusalem’s temple was still unfulfilled. And so were the many… Read more »
Paragraph 8 Says:
“They defend the flock by putting their brothers on guard against any who might attempt to undermine their faith. The apostle Peter warned of “false prophets” and “false teachers” who would try to “entice unsteady souls” into wrongdoing.”
A “false prophets” and/or “false teachers” are not going to “entice” you into stealing or immorality are they?
So are they saying it is “wrongdoing” to disagree with the interpretations (speculations) of the GB?
Seems to me that is what they are implying!!
I agree. That does appear to be what they are implying.
So are they saying it is “wrongdoing” to disagree with the interpretations (speculations) of the GB?
Not to undermine your point, but I think their position on that is already clear. Since they can disfellowship you for it, they must classify it as wrongdoing.
And the big problem is not so much undermining your faith in jesus but your faith in the leaders of the organisation As at my trial jesus wasnt even mentioned but the questions i were asked if the society asked me to do something would i do it and did i believe that the governing body are the faithful slave
Again i agree with all your observations meleti as i have noticed the very same things .For years i slaved as an elder in the congregation i had a teaching assignment all the way through i was on the platform probably more than any other elder in our congregation .I wanted to do my best for my brothers to provide them with a meeting that was both enjoyable and instructive i wanted to teach the truth sadly though as time is progressing it is becoming more and more clear that what is being taught is something else and ive given… Read more »
The problem is, Kev, that we don’t really teach. Everything is scripted except for Bible Highlights. This parroting of what the GB wants us to “teach” hinders the flow of God’s spirit on anyone who may be inspired by it to offer an alternative understanding. The brothers in my congregation are more corporate men than congregational men. Christ Jesus tends to be placed in a position subordinate to the FDS; a real insult to his position, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve thought about stepping down rather than continue to teach things I no longer find credible. I do appreciate… Read more »
Too true. SmolderingWick1 spoke of the old 55 minute talks back when we had 88 outlines. However, I’m sure many of us remember the 60 minutes talks when we had only a theme to prepare and the rest was up to us. That allowed much individuality of expression and some speakers could really delve deeply into things. You were even allowed to come up with your own themes. But that changed when the Society saw the need to standardize the teaching. Soon, outlines appeared and we were instructed not to deviate from them. If you scan the outlines, now close… Read more »
As an elder I tried to bring something “fresh” to the meetings but quite soon I realized it is hopeless, everyone is so programmed by the Organization, they cannot think by themselves anymore. Only very few can and they are afraid to open their mouths.
I am coming to the realization that this is a new-patch-old-garment scenario and all we can do is to help honest hearted ones to realize that.
“Through his organization, Jehovah provides an abundance of spiritual food…” Compare the above statement with this inspired statement: “As regards anything besides these, my son, take a warning: To the making of many books there is no end, and much devotion [to them] is wearisome to the flesh.” – Ecclesiastes 12:12 The idea that Jehovah would inspire the writing of 66 books that are perfectly sound in doctrine without any errors only to turn around and require us to depend on a fallible organization with fallible explanations of the said perfect bible, seems to be ridiculous and an utter defeat… Read more »
Very well put, Jude. A line of reasoning I hadn’t considered before. Thank you.
A brother calls the elders and tells them he’s been involved in wrongdoing. We meet with the brother and read James 5:14, 15 to him. Then we tell him him we’re going to have to form a judicial committee to determine his repentant attitude. Well, we determine he’s not repentant and he’s disfellowshipped. he’s probably thinking, “Hey, should have kept my big mouth shut!”
Excellent, excellent, excellent illustration, “Jude,” to make your point! ) I dare say, maybe 80% or more of the brotherhood of Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world, or anyone who shops regularly at their local grocery store for that matter, could surely relate to your fabulous illustration and fitting it with a critical analysis of Acts 17:11 [being a “beroean”] the original intent of the verse, and how Watchtower Leadership unique viewpoint of it, have effectively stripped the true meaning of the verse down, and thus kept the “key of knowledge” away from the brothers, as the Pharisees did in Jesus’… Read more »
But Observer17, it is not our desire to go “really, really far”. It is our desire to follow the Christ wherever he leads and manifest humility. (Mat. 23:11)
Amen Meleti. I know Observer17 that you were not directly addressing me … what exactly is the next level ? I am curious …..
If you are curious … email me. 🙂
Observer17 I am personally not comfortable with your encouraging the readers to get in touch in order to “take it to the next level”. I am aware of some of the information you point people to if they are curious enough to email you. I am going to request that Meleti removes your email address from comments, and perhaps considers a policy of not allowing email addresses to be posted. To our readers: whilst it would be hypocritical to suggest to you what you should or should not consider on the internet, I would like to warn you that in… Read more »
I respect your viewpoint on this Apollos. We don’t want to act as those in the Organization who presume to judge for others and dictate who we should and should not associate with. The Bible gives direction for each one to apply in his or her own personal life. Nevertheless, it would be inappropriate for us to serve as a conduit for any activity we do not deem appropriate.
I’ve removed the emails. Observer17, we mean no offense.
none taken. 🙂
“For there must also be sects among you, that the persons approved may also become manifest among you.” (1 Corinthians 11:19)
Just my 2 cents,
Don’t you guys think of anything but sects?
O if we could only play such word games in the big congregation! 🙂
I agree with Apollos. I’m not sure that you have a “next level” to offer. If you believe that you do and that we all need to hear it, then surely you can share it publicly? In my view, it is seeking “the next level”, seeking to be better than everyone else that has gotten us into this mess. My personal view is and I believe the scriptural one is that when God reveals something, he makes it known to his servants, as he promises. Until then, Jesus instructed Christians to wait on his arrival and endure to the end.… Read more »